Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boston Day 3 - Walking the Freedom Trail

Boston is known for its ties with the American Revolution and birth of the nation now known as the United States. The Freedom Trail winds by some of Boston's historical landmarks and famous places. We started at Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, where the statue of Washington looms high. Adjacent to Boston Commons is the State House, whose dome is covered in real gold.

Winding our way around the streets of Boston, we walked past many of the same sights that we saw on the Duck Tour yesterday. As we quickened our pace, we can upon Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace. In the center of Quincy Marketplace is an entire building filled with varoius food merchants, mostly local, like the Walrus and the Carpenter Oyster Bar.

Not feeling like a heavy meal, we decided to get some soup in a bread bowl from Boston Chowda (yes that is how they spelled it). I had my doubts about Theresa's order of the crab butternut squash bisque, so I went with the safer choice of the lobster bisque. Turns out hers was very tasty. I would never had imagined to put the butternut squash and crab together. Maybe it's hometown pride, but I found the bread bowls blah compared to the sourdough ones we have in the Bay Area. But, both soups were good, thick, and chunky.

Crab butternut bisque

We wondered around Quincy Market after lunch, and walked into a store called Best of Boston. Theresa immediately gravitated toward their collection of stuffed lobsters.

A pretty neat local store is Newberry Comics. They have a huge collection of used music, videos, and lots of quirky gifts. Our next stop was Boston's North End and the Old North Church

The North End is where many Italians settled and is similar to the North Beach area of San Francisco. Cobblestone streets were lined with what seemed like endless numbers of Italian restaurants. The Old North Church, where Paul Revere ended his ride and hung lanterns in the steeple to warn of the impending British invasion of Boston, stands at the top of a hill. The courtyard has a statue of Mr Revere, and an interesting memorial to the service personnel killed since we invaded Iraq. Each dog tag represents a soldier fallen. Very neat memorial.

Our next stop was Charlestown, via the Charlestown Bridge. After walking about 15 minutes at a brisk pace, we came upon the majestic USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides. After waiting more than an hour in line, we hopped aboard.

The Constitution is still a commissioned ship, which means it remains in active duty in the US Navy. In fact, all the tour guides were active enlisted Navy personnel. The ship is in the middle of a major restoration, so it did not have its full masts installed, and they were doing construction on her main deck. Life aboard was not pleasant, as you shared sleeping quarters with almost 400 people, and the ceiling was a mere 5 foot 6 inches tall. Imagine being tall and stumbling around in the dark when the captain called all hands on deck. I had to crouch and almost hit my head a few times

With the sun getting low in the sky, we decided to head back to the North End for dinner at Antico Forno, which was recommended to us by Keith the concierge at the Hotel Marlowe. Theresa ordered the pizza with sausage and artichoke while I opted for the chicken saltinbucca.

We ended the meal with the quintessential Italian dessert, house-made Tiramisu.

With our appetites satiated, we hopped the T back to the hotel to rest and pack for our flight to San Francisco the next day.


Blogger Jimmie said...

Hello Nolan, I enjoyed checking out your blog. What brought me here is the close up image of the Boston dog tag memorial. I was wondering if you would mind me using your photo online for a memorial project I am volunteering with? Thank you

10:12 AM  

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